Graveside Services for Gerald "Jerry" A. Miller, age 78 of Neligh, NE were at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Neligh, NE at 4:00 pm Friday, April 12, 2013 with Military Rites by US Air Force Military Honor Guard. Honoarary Pallbearers were Doug Jessen, Chester Smith, Jerry Shrader, Keith Petersen, Bill Taylor, Cliff Tillema, Ken Krohn, Alan Marsh, Morris Soper, and Tim Kester. Memorial Service were at 5:00 pm, Friday, April 12, 2013 at United Methodist Church in Neligh, with Pastor Gary Ganger, officiating. Music was provided by Marie Krohn, Pianist and Steve Johnson and Jeanne Hoffman as soloist. Jerry passed away Monday, April 8, 2013 at Antelope Memorial Hospital in Neligh, NE.
Gerald "Jerry" A. Miller was born on April 1, 1935 to Basil "Bud" and Grace (Billings) Miller in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated with the Class of 1953 from Neligh High School. After attending Norfolk Junior College for one year he joined the United States Air Force to be a pilot. Upon completing basic training he was assigned to fighter and gunnery school. He received his commission in 1956 at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.
On May 31, 1956 Jerry married his high school sweetheart Joan Bennett at Luke Air Force Base. From this union four children were born: Steven, David, Lisa, and Linda. Jerry's first assignment was at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina. There he served with the combat ready fighter reconnaissance squadron. This status sent him on many TDY's around the world which included several "hot spots". Two of the primary campaigns in which he served were Lebanon and Vietnam. While in Vietnam, he completed over 100 reconnaissance missions over the enemy territory of North Vietnam. Jerry's expertise as a reconnaissance pilot prompted him to be cross-trained as a Flight Quality Control Officer. The knowledge and experience in all three areas made him quite valuable to our military at that time. A couple of Jerry's favorite airplanes are the 101 "Voodoo" and F-4 "Phantom". Throughout his Air Force career, Jerry earned many medals and awards including the Distinguished Flying Cross with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, Presidential Unit Citation, Air Medal with seven Oak Leaf Clusters, Vietnam Service Medal with Four Campaign Stars, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Bronze Star Medal, and National Defense Service Medal. In 1974 Jerry received his honorable discharge and retired with the rank of Major from the United States Air Force. Outside of his military commitments, he coached his squadron maintenance football team and little league baseball in Taiwan and South Carolina.
He began a second career by attending helicopter pilot training with the intent of returning to Neligh to join Farmers Coop where he helped form the helicopter spraying department. In 1982, Jerry kept the helicopter spraying business going by purchasing the helicopter and formed C&M Inc. Ag Services.
In 1986, Jerry started his third career. He and his wife went to Bismarck, North Dakota after he had accepted the position as lead pilot for the Bismarck Hospital Helicopter EMS Service. Jerry finally retired in 1997 and returned to Neligh where he and his wife provided daycare for a couple of their grandchildren two days a week. Jerry is survived by his wife, Joan. Children: Steven (Dolly) Miller of Summerville, SC, David (Tamara) Miller of Omaha, NE, Lisa Miller and Herman Weist of Kansas City, MO, and Linda (Rocky) Thompson of Neligh, NE. 5 grandchildren. Sister-in-laws: Marleen (Richard) Anderson of Livingston, MT, Nancy Baker of Tekamah, NE, Laura Botelho of Manchester, NH, Shirley (Roger) Nielsen of Central City, NE. He was preceded in death by his parents Bud and Grace.